- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Gov. Tommy Thompson backed different Republican candidates for president but are both among the 18 at-large delegates who will represent the state at the national convention this summer in Cleveland.

The Wisconsin Republican Party released the delegate names Tuesday. Wisconsin’s other 24 delegates, selected in each of the state’s eight congressional districts, had already been announced.

Under state party rules, all 18 of the statewide delegates are required to vote for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won Wisconsin’s primary, in the first round of balloting at the national convention. They can switch to another candidate only if they are released by Cruz or he fails to get a third of the overall vote.

Walker endorsed Cruz and campaigned with him. Thompson backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who came in third place.

Republican front runner Donald Trump won two of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts, so those six delegates are required to vote for him in the first round. Cruz won in the other six districts as well as statewide, meaning he got 36 of Wisconsin’s 42 delegates.

There is a two-front battle going on in the Republican presidential race. Trump is trying to win enough delegates through primary voting to capture the nomination before the convention. But it’s mathematically impossible for Cruz or Kasich to win the 1,237 majority of delegates, so they are now trying to line up enough support to win the nomination on the second or subsequent rounds of voting.

Cruz and Kasich announced an unusual deal Sunday designed to prevent Trump from getting the majority of delegates by the end of the primary voting season in June. Under the deal, Kasich has agreed not to campaign in Indiana before its May 3 primary and Cruz said he would “clear the path” for Kasich in New Mexico and Oregon.

Walker was expected to campaign with Cruz in Indiana on Sunday. Walker has said he will back whoever is the eventual nominee.

Thompson said in an interview that he was honored to be a delegate and would follow the rules requiring him to cast his ballot for Cruz. Thompson said he has been a delegate at every national convention since 1976, the last time the nomination was contested.

Other delegates include Walker’s wife, Tonette, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Attorney General Brad Schimel, state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, state Sen. Duey Stroebel, state Rep. Dean Knudson and Mike Grebe, a longtime Republican activist and chairman of the Bradley Foundation. Stroebel was an early backer of Cruz and was chairman of his campaign in Wisconsin.

Other than Thompson, none of the other delegates announced Tuesday have publicly backed anyone other than Cruz.


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP and find more of his work at https://bigstory.ap.org/content/scott-bauer

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